Independence Day 2022: How right we were in our population growth rate forecasts


In honor of Yom Haatzmaut, the CBS just published the latest population estimates for Israel. Anyone hoping to see high population growth continue will be gratified. Even with the substantial increase in Covid deaths over the last year, Israel’s population grew by 1.9%. That is a slightly higher rate of growth than Israel experienced in 2020. One of the main reasons for this higher growth, as we discussed in December 2021, was the mild increase in the fertility rates of Jewish women during 2021 (Table 2 in SNR 2021 Demography overview chapter).

The CBS figures also confirm the validity of the Taub Center’s own population projections. Using Israel’s 2017 population as a baseline (8.725 million), we estimated that by 30.6.2022, there will be 9.560 million people in Israel. The CBS says the current population (1.5.22) is 9.506 million. That means that by 30.6—the same reference point must be used—Israel’s population should reach around 9.538 million. In other words, the CBS estimates are that Israel’s population will have grown by around 813,000 people in the five-year period between 30.6.2017 and 30.6.2022.  We projected it would grow by 835,000 people.

This difference of 22,000 people (around 2.7%) is pretty small.  However, we can make it even smaller since our projections predated the Covid pandemic. If we reduce that 22,000 person difference by around 11,000 Covid deaths (10,700 up to now, another ~300 by 30.6) and by the 12,000 people who did not migrate here in 2020 [see Figure 4 in SNR 2021 Demography overview chapter], our projections are as close to the bullseye as we could possibly be. The difference is only around 1,000 people, or 0.1%. At the danger of wagging our own tails, that’s pretty darn good.

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